The Southern Highlands - IMG392

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 240.000

  • JAN
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  • MAR
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  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Duration: 6 days

Accommodation: Mountain hut sleepingbag accommodation (3 nights), hostel (2 nights)

Minimum Age: 14

Group size: 12

Language: English/German

We provide: Included: Guide, food for 6 days (from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 6) Accommodation: Mountain hut sleeping bag accommodation (3 nights), hostel (2 nights). Transport: Highland truck.

Note: All departures are in English/German

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Elf landscape of Þórsmörk
    • Landmannalaugar geothermal area
    • Glaciers of Skaftafell

    The southern highlands of Iceland are full of natural wonders that in this tour are ours to discover. From the colorful geothermal mountains of Landmannalaugar, east to the Eldgjá crevasse on to Vatnajökull´s snowy peaks where the glaciers and the icebergs of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon are also ours to discover. The magical landscape of Þórsmörk is our final stop in the tour and there we hike up to the craters of Fimmvörðuháls from the 2010 eruption. The display of unique landscapes you find on this tour is certain to leave a mark on the traveler that in his turn leaves only his footprint in the regions traveled.

    Included: Guide, Food (From lunch day 1 to lunch day 6) Accommodation: Mountain hut sleeping bag accommodation (3 nights), hostel (2 nights). Transport: Highland truck.

    Note: Accommodation in Reykjavík can be added.

    Minimum age 14 years.

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  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: The trip starts early morning at BSI central bus station  where we will catch the bus at 8:00 am to Landmannalaugar. We will spend the day exploring the incredible surroundings of Landmannalaugar and take a dip in the thermal river that is located next to the hut. Night at the hut at Landmannalaugar. 
    Walking:5 - 6 hrs. 

    Day 2: From the Landmannalaugar we take the mountain track that leads to Eldgjá – the Fissure of Fire. Walk to the Ófærufoss waterfall in the Eldgjá, we come down to the main road. Turning east towards the south side of the great Vatnajökull glacier, we have to drive across the world largest lava field, the Eldhraun and the huge flood plains of Skeiðarársandur before arriving at our destination at Skaftafell. Night at a hostel.
    Driving: 4 hrs.     
    Walking:
     4 to 5 hrs.

    Day 3: The whole day is spent exploring this part of the Vatnajökull National Park. In the morning we start by taking a tour to the Jökulárlón Glacier Lagoon where we will admire the floating icebergs. The afternoon we spend hiking in Skaftafell. This is the true kingdom of glaciers and many hiking possibilities are available. Also a large variety of plants is to be found here and even a natural forest, creating quite a contrast with the rugged outlet glaciers crawling down from the icecap and the endless sands to the south. An optional activity is to take a walk on one of the glaciers with a local glacier guide. Night at a hostel.
    Walking: 7 hrs.

    Day 4: Leaving Skaftafell we turn back west along the south coast with its blacks sands and waterfalls. Arriving at the foot of the famous Eyjafjallajökull, yes the one that managed to stop air traffic all over Europe in the spring of 2010, we turn back into the highlands. By a mountain track we enter the valley of Þórsmörk at the foot of this fierce volcano. The last 25 km into this hidden valley are quite an adventure as we need to ford many rivers. Night in a mountain hut.
    Driving: 4 to 5 hrs.    
    Walking: 
    3 hrs.

    Day 5: We walk up to the new craters of Fimmvörðuháls (the two craters that erupted before the very summit of Eyjafjallajökull started to spew ash in march 2010). This walk takes us through the breathtaking palagonite landscape of Þórsmörk, cut with deep canyons, dotted with rock columns and sharp ridges. On the walk up we enjoy fantastic views towards the glaciers surrounding us as well as the green valley of Þórsmörk before arriving  at this new lava field and the new craters. Again a totally new type of landscape! Night in the same mountain hut.
    Walking: 7 hrs.

    Day 6: Leaving this beautiful place, we only drive for a short while before a taking brief walk in the deep gorge of Stakkholtsgjá. There the Northern fulmar soars on the thermals in this spectacular canyon carved by fire, ice and water. Shortly we are back on the main road heading towards Reykjavík. At the hot spring village Hveragerði we make our last hike up to the colorful valley of Grændalur where, dotted with numerous hot springs. If time allows we walk over to the nearby Reykjadalur valley before a last 40 min transfer back to the capital.

    Driving: 3 hrs.
    Walking: 4 to 5 hrs.

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  • Equipment List

    Equipment list - Discovery Adventure

    Equipment list for Discovery Adventures

    For your own wellbeing and safety we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms! Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 

    Boots and Clothing:

    • Hiking boots – light hiking boots with waterproofing and ankle support are preferred. 
    • Long and short sleeve thermal underwear – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Rain Jacket with a good hood– Preferably waterproof and breathable material. 
    • Hiking pants.
    • Rain trousers – Waterproof and breathable material. 
    • Gloves – Wool or synthetic.
    • Socks – two to three pairs of hiking socks - Wool or synthetic.
    • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic. 

    Other gear:

    • Backpack for clothes and items used during the day. Size: 20-30 litres. 
    • Duffel bag for your overnight gear, preferably not a suit-case.  
    • Towel – light weight and packable. 
    • Sunglasses and sun protection. 
    • Water bottle. 
    • Casual clothes / change of clothes.
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. 
    • Swim suit (depends on tour). 

    Tours in huts

    • Sleeping bag – A basic sleeping bag with no specific temperature rating is sufficient for summer tours. Good summer sleeping bag will do for winter tours in huts (depending on tour). 
    • Earplugs 
    • Headlamp for reading and getting around the hut. 

    Optional gear:

    • Walking pole(s). 
    • Pen knife. 
    • Sun/rain Hat or a Cap.  
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films. 
    • Puffy jacket to throw on during stops (e.g. Primaloft or down) 
    • Slippers for indoor use. 
    • Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits (huts). 

    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact incoming@mountainguides.is.

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  • Gear Lexicon

    Discovery Adventure

    What is a Discovery Adventure?

    On our Discovery Adventures you will get a chance to see allot of Iceland – driving between sightseeing spot. You should also be ready for some for a bit of walking – but nothing extreme or hard. Depending on tours you could be staying in Mountain huts, guesthouses or hotels.
    Please note that not all parts of the gear lexicon apply on all tours. 


    Light Hiking Boots

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    Salomon Quest Origins GTX

    A light pair of boots is more than sufficient. Having them waterproof and high enough to support and cover your ankles is a great benefit and will help keep you dry on wet or snowy ground. 


    Rain Jacket and Pants

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    ME Manaslu

    Wind and waterproof tops and bottoms are essential in Iceland. Preferably a jacket with a good hood. Rain pants with zippers along the legs make getting them on much easier. 


    Insulation layer

    A fleece jacket is a classic insulating layer material. Wool is also a good option. It is possible to layer up – two thin jackets or a jacket and a vest rather than one very thick jacket.


    Hands, feet and head:

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    ME Knitted beanie

    Gloves: A light pair of fleece or wool gloves/mittens does the job. You can also take a pair of ski-gloves or other wind and waterproof shell gloves. Having an extra pair of different thickness is recommended. 

    Socks: Wool is the preferred material for skiing socks, and different blends are available. If you are prone to blisters or have new boots, you should consider wearing a thin liner sock underneath your socks in your ski boots. Make sure you have a few pairs of socks to use to keep your feet dry.

    Warm hat: A normal ski-hat/beanie is perfect. You can also use a thick buff. An extra buff is nice to have - you can use it to protect your neck and face when needed, or as a thinner option for a hat. 


    Puffy Jacket

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    ME Compressor Hooded Jacket PrimaLoft

    A light puffy is great during breaks. The insulation could be down or synthetic material (such as Primaloft). It should not be very big or bulky for summer time use. Synthetic insulation is preferred as it keeps most of its insulating properties when wet, but down is also a good option.  A puffy vest is a good option as well.


    Casual clothes / change of clothes

    Once in the hut, it is good to be able to change out of your trekking gear. We highly discourage you from wearing cotton clothing (including jeans!) while skiing or hiking but you are welcome to wear them in the hut/tent in the evening. If it is cold, a warm sweater (jumper) or an extra fleece jacket is always nice. We always recommend having a few pairs of comfy socks and some fresh underwear.  Avoid bringing too much extra clothing. Life in the mountains is simple and nice, so one pair of extra pants, a warm sweater (jumper), a few t-shirts and underwear should do the job just fine. Light sneakers and slippers for indoor use will feel great at the end of the day


    Backpack / day-pack

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    Love Alpine AirZone Trek 30L

    You will need a nice daypack to carry your extra clothes, river crossing shoes, food and water for the day. Having a compartment for smaller items like sun screen and sunglasses is also good. The pack will never be heavy, but a bit of padding on the shoulder- and hip straps/belt with a buckle is good. Unless you have some bulky personal needs, like photographic equipment, then you should be fine with 20-30L (1200 - 2000 cu in).


    Duffel-bag

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    ME Wet & Dry bag

    On many of our tours your overnight gear is going to be transported from hut-to-hut / camp-to-camp and space is limited. We therefore ask you to pack your gear in a soft bag rather than a regular hard suite case, since this is more space-efficient. A 60 - 80L bag should be more than enough for all your extra kit including a sleeping bag.  If it is reasonably waterproof that is a big plus. 


    Sun

    A baseball cap or a comfortable hat with brim is great to have and is useful both in sunny and rainy weather. You should also have a nice pair of sunglasses and some sun-bloc – SPF 15-25 should be enough protection for most.  If you plan to be playing on snow covers summits you should bring a pair of quality sunglasses for mountaineering SPF 30 – 50 sunblock.  


    Personal items

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    Make sure to have all your prescription medication with you. If you have any medical condition that could in any way affect you during the trip, make sure to let your guide know. For those suffering from allergies, having an antihistamine is advisable – or any other medication that works for your condition. Items for personal hygiene should also be included, such as a small bar of soap or some liquid hand soap. We recommend packing a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental-floss. Avoid liquid antiperspirant and glass containers due to risks of spillage. Feminine products like pads, tampons etc. should also be packed, if needed. If you take vitamins or other supplements, you should continue to do so during your holiday. In most cases, you are sharing sleeping facilities with one or more fellow travelers – so a pair of good ear-plugs can ensure a good night’s sleep. Those not accustom to the bright summer nights might want to bring an eye mask.  Please make sure to pack extra contact lenses (if needed), contact lens cleaning solution, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in small plastic bottles that close tight. A big towel is nice to have – especially if you are taking a bath in one of the natural hot-pools. 


    Swim suit

    Bathing in the natural hot pools will be one of the highlights of your trip in Iceland. Make sure you come dressed for the occasion. There are no specific rules, written or unwritten on how to dress or not to dress; board shorts, speedos, bikinis or bathing suits – anything goes. Quick drying material is always a good idea. 


    Water container / thermos flask

    In Iceland & Greenland, you can drink from any stream, no filters, no iodine and no chlorine needed! It is good to have a small water bottle at hand. A 1L bottle should be plenty, as water is easily found all over. If you prefer warm drinks, we are happy to fill up your thermos in the morning and a selection of teas will be available. Very dedicated tea drinkers often bring an emergency stash of their favorite brand. Those who like cold drinks might like to bring their favorite powdered vitamin/energy drink. 


    Sleeping Bag Hut

    The mountain-huts during the summer are usually warm, although most are not heated during the night. Any old sleeping bag will therefore do, unless you get cold easily. For temperature control having a full length zipper is the best. A liner bag is also a very nice addition and will improve your ability to regulate your head during the night.  If you are doing a winter hut trip or summer camping a 3 season sleeping bag would be sufficient. All the huts we use have mattresses on the beds so no need to bring your own for huts.  


    Head-lamp

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    Even though the summer night is bright, the inside of the hut/tent might not be. A headlamp is also useful for those that want to do some reading. There are plenty of options available for LED head lamps that are just perfect for reading and getting around. A small flashlight will also do the job. Most LED headlamps have more than enough light for our purposes and the battery life is so good that one fully charged battery will be enough for your trip.  


    Other cool things to have

    Book – to read during the evenings. 

    Music - and head phones. Some of our guides also have speakers with them to share Icelandic music. 

    Diary or notebook – to write down your good memories from Iceland. Also, a pen or pencil

    Power-bank / extra battery for your electronics – small solar cells usually do not work that well in Iceland, so a pre-charged power bank is a better option.  Charging your electronics in huts in the highlands often is not an option or will cost you extra. Make sure you have an adapter plug and/or a voltage converter for 220 V. 

    Playing cards and travel games – or other toys you might like and can travel. 

    Cash – showers in mountain huts normally cost about 500 ISK and take 100 ISK coins. 

    Travel pillow – if it is not very bulky. Otherwise, you can just use your clothes. 

    Powder drink mix – Good water is never a problem – but you might like a bit of variety. Some powders contain vitamins and minerals that help your body after a hard day.  

    Shorts - It does get warm enough to wear shorts on occasions. They are also nice for sleeping in, and can be worn if you need to get out of your sleeping accommodations at night. For hiking, it is nice to have some pockets to hold items that would normally be in the pockets of your pants. But any old pair of shorts will do.


    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits

    Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits - Liquor laws in Iceland prohibit the sale of alcohol in most places you come by on your trip in the highlands. Additionally, limited opening hours prevent you from buying alcohol in most places unless you are staying in a hotel. Having a flask (preferably plastic or metal) to share with your fellow travellers in front of the camp fire (gas heater) can be a great way top off a good day. You can buy alcohol in the duty-free shops upon your arrival in Iceland. Just follow all the Icelanders on your flight – they will take you straight to duty-free! Also, there are government run alcohol stores in Reykjavík called Vínbuðin.  If time allows, you can purchase alcohol there but alcohol is much less expensive in the duty-free shops at the airport. 

    On trips to Greenland, you can buy alcohol in the duty-free shop on arrival in Iceland. Duty free in Kulusuk, Greenland does not sell high % spirits – but if you make it to the supermarket they will have beer. 


    Gear shopping in Iceland

    Already in Iceland and need to grab some extra gear? No worries. There are a few shops in Reykjavík to go to (remember to ask for a VAT refund slip when you buy over 5000 ISK, which will save you 14%):

    Íslensku Alparnir: http://alparnir.is/  this is where IMG gets its Mountain Equipment gear, much of with is featured on the pictures above – can’t go wrong there.

    GG-Sjósport: http://www.gummibatar.is/ great products, but not in the downtown area.

    Laugavegur: the main shopping street downtown has a few stores, including some local brands like 66°North and Cintamani.

    Kringlan & Smáralind are the indoor shopping centers in Iceland – both have outdoor adventure equipment stores and are open on Sundays.

    For your own wellbeing and safety, we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list -  this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms!  Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience.  Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours, feel free to contact incoming@mountainguides.is


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  • Map

For availability and more information about this tour please contact us.

Total price for all passengers:

0ISK

Optional extra services - These items can be purchased later

    1. Just a tip - You can convert the currency here!